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France's problem of competitiveness: causes and solutions

  • Longevity in the globalised marketplace depends on the ability to remain competitive. Various definitions of economic competitiveness exist: this report compiles them, discusses the methodologies used to measure economic competitiveness and compares the results obtained when these various systems are applied to the country of France. Thereafter, examinations of aspects such as the development of gross domestic product, trade performance, price competitiveness, productivity and employment will be conducted with the aim of providing answers to the following questions: does France really experience a competitiveness problem? If so, what are potential causes of this competitiveness? Is there a particular domain in which France experiences greater difficulties than in others? Comparisons are constantly drawn to countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and China, where possible. First of all, France's GDP development is described in combination with a discussion of whether or not GDP (per capita) serves as a measure of the performance level of an economy. Then, the country's trade performance is closely examined. Aspects such as France's export market shares and its trade products and partners are investigated. Thereafter, focus is placed on price competitiveness. Analysis of the real effective exchange rate based on consumer price indices, the inflation rate and the nominal effective exchange rate is conducted before the aspects of labour costs and productivity are treated. A breakdown of France's GDP and GDP per capita growth rates, as well as unit labour costs are explored in detail. As the last component of the examination, focus is placed on the subject of employment. The findings of this report suggest that France suffers from a competitiveness problem which presents itself mainly in the field of employment which has a knock-on effect on the labour market. The findings of this report mainly confirm the findings of the literature. Proposed measures in order to resolve France's competitiveness problem target the minimum wage, the elderly workforce, labour market regulations and labour taxes. It is argued that implementation of the suggested measures could eventually improve France's level of productivity and the other issues examined.

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Author:Steffen Rohr
Advisor:Marc Peter Radke
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2015
Year of first Publication:2015
Release Date:2015/11/26
Tag:France; competitiveness; problem
Degree Program:IBW - Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
Functional area:Economics